By Shawn Trommeshauser
(Dreaming in Digital)
Snow and ice in video games is often considered to be a nuisance. Controlling your character gets harder as you loose traction. You might have to halt your adventure to find shelter and stay warm. Perhaps you’re lost in a blizzard and have to carefully navigate your way clear. But some games want to play in the snow. They’re offering pristine worlds of snow and ice to frolic in. Here are five examples of winter gaming that you might enjoy checking out!
The original PlayStation horror classic is bursting with many things, though holiday cheer is not one of them.
The town of Silent Hill is shrouded in perpetual fog and snow falling out of season. This seemingly empty mountain town is where you have to search for your daughter who went missing after a car accident. Just hope nothing else finds her, or you, first.
A long running series of arcade-style snowboarding games that are big on color and bigger on attitude!
The SSX (or Snowboarding Super Cross) games mix over the top characters with outrageous jumps and stunts that look amazing, but no one could possibly perform in real life.
Several titles have been released on several systems since the original came out on PlayStation 2 back in 2000, but I recommend SSX3 for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox. It has a fantastic feel and you can casually explore a very open mountain from top to bottom.
Metal Gear Solid
If I had to choose only one game to put on this list, It would be Metal Gear Solid. Set on an island in Alaska, Solid Snake is infiltrating a nuclear weapon disposal facility during a snowstorm. The attention to detail is stunning for the relatively under-powered PlayStation.
The crunching snow underfoot, footprints for the enemies to follow, even Snake’s breath condensing in the cold air. There’s also something about clones, genetic experiments, Russian spies, cyborg ninjas, and giant nuclear tanks. It may look primitive by today’s standards, but when this game came out in 1998, there was nothing in it’s class to compare it to, and it still stands tall as one of the greatest games of all time.
Christmas Eve in New York, 1997. This is the stage for this genre mashup of horror, RPG, and action which feels like Squaresoft’s (now Square Enix) answer to the popularity of Resident Evil.
Based on the novel by Hideaki Sena, Parasite Eve follows New York detective, Aya Brea as she battles an ancient evil intent on reshaping all life on Earth into it’s own image. It may be set around Christmas, but this is definitely not a game for the squeamish.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
If you’re looking for snow, Skyrim should be high on your list of travel destinations. With a vast open world to explore and the powers of the Dragonborn at your fingertips, this epic fantasy adventure has kept millions of players enthralled for over five years now.
Between the robust modding community and the recently released special edition, it’s never been a better time to venture into the world of Tamriel.
Motorstorm – Arctic Edge
The Motorstorm festival is known for it’s fast paced extreme off-road racing in some of the most inhospitable environments imaginable and this time it’s heading to the Arctic Circle. Everything from motorbikes to big rigs can be on the track at the same time and to stand a chance you have to choose the paths through the tracks that are more suited to the vehicle you selected.
You’ll also have to contend with fragile ice bridges and avalanches as you plow through the snow and the competition.